Best Practices

Errors

Moving Pages to New URLs

Anytime a page moves, you break any incoming links from other sites. Try to avoid deleting or changing the links to established pages. If you change the date on a blog post, you also change the URL dynamically, which could also break links. If it is unavoidable to change the link address for your page, please contact us for assistance in redirecting the old link to the new.

Formatting

Text Colors

Link and heading colors are preset. Try avoiding manually changing the color of your text.

Image Accessibility

Ensure that all images are accessible for users with disabilities by adding the image’s Alt Text on every image you add to your site. Wake Forest University is required to provide Alt Text on all images by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Menu

Keep your site’s menu items clear and brief, one to two words is best. The site menu should be easy to read and understand. As a general rule, try to write straightforward and simple headlines on blog posts and page titles. Make sure that they clearly explain what the page is about and that will make sense when read out-of-context in a search engine results listing.

General Formatting

Structure the page to facilitate scanning and help users ignore large chunks of the page in a single glance: for example, use grouping and subheadings to break a long list into several smaller units.

Staff Pages

If you have a contact list or staff listing, try to list people in alphabetical order, so that your user can find the appropriate person quickly. If you are including photos, crop the photos to a consistent size. 170px x 170px is recommended.

Media & File Types

PDFs

Use of PDFs should be limited to the occasions where a page or document is to be printed. Also, the size of your PDF shouldn’t exceed 10MB to prevent delay in opening. Never dump a user directly into a PDF file without fair warning, indicate that the link will lead to a PDF using the link text.

Example: Please download our Request Form (PDF).

The text in a PDF should be accessible to users with disabilities. The best way to create an accessible PDF is to export the PDF from the original document instead of scanning the document. This will create real text that can be read with a screen reader. You can test the accessibility of your existing PDFs by attempting to drag your cursor over the text to see if it is real selectable text or an image of text:

PDF Accessible

Video & Audio

Avoid adding video and audio to your site that automatically plays. The user should be allowed to start the video and audio by choice. Please also make sure there is closed captioning available on all videos for hearing impaired users.